Blog | Laying Turf |
Posted on August 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm by carbuttsturf
We’re often asked how to lay turf on different surfaces like soil, grass and hard materials like stone or concrete.
The results you get will vary depending on what type of material is under your newly laid turf, so here’s our rough guide to some of the most common surfaces to lay a new lawn on.
Soil is the ideal surface and we’ve covered it in detail in our Turf Guide, but here are a few of the main do’s and don’ts to help you remember how to lay turf on soil:
- Do aerate the soil before laying turf on top, to help the grass put down roots.
- Do add compost to fertilise the soil, manure to retain water or sand to improve drainage.
- Don’t compact the soil too firmly when levelling it off, or your turf may struggle to root.
- Don’t add partially rotted compost, as the lawn may sag as this continues to rot down.
In a perfect world, it’s better not to lay turf on grass. This isn’t just because the old grass and weeds might grow through – it’s about preparing soil for fresh turf.
Removing the old grass exposes the soil beneath so that you can rotavate and aerate it, and this again improves the new turf’s chances of bedding in better.
If you must lay over old grass:
- Do try to remove as much as possible by mowing it very short and removing the clippings.
- Do rotavate the soil if possible before laying new turf on top.
- Don’t leave old grass under new turf – as the old grass dies it may damage the turf’s newly laid roots.
- Don’t forget the aftercare. New turf laid on old grass will perform better if you water it in well and keep it well fed as the old lawn below dies away.
New turf has a layer of soil and roots attached, but it’s not enough to sustain the grass for the long term – it needs something to grow roots down into.
Hard surfaces like stone and concrete are not suitable for a permanent lawn; however, if you want natural green grass for a special event, it’s easy to unroll a few turves on to a solid floor.
- Do clear the ground of any surface debris so you can unroll your turf in seconds.
- Do lay your turf neatly as it may be more likely to move on a hard surface.
- Don’t forget to water it well, to keep it looking healthy for as long as possible.
- Don’t expect a permanent lawn – laying turf on hard surfaces will only give a temporary effect.
Finally, laying turf on green roofs is an increasingly popular option on eco-friendly properties, so remember:
- Do prepare the roof and make certain it can support the weight of soil, turf and future grass growth.
- Don’t forget to plan how you will access the roof in future, especially if you need to get a lawnmower up there (hand shears are an easier alternative on small roofs).